Saturday, October 30, 2010

Smallville 10x6 - "Harvest"



ROLL CALL:

SUPERMAN! LOIS LANE! TESS MERCER! THE GREEN ARROW (absent)
Special DC Universe Guest Star:
LEX LUTHOR! (No foolin'.)

Smallville continues to bust out major happenings unexpectedly. The previews for "Harvest" made it seem like Lois and Clark stumble upon some sort of M. Night Shyamalan's The Village/Children of the Corn cornball homage, and they did, but that hardly did justice to what the episode was really about.

Lois and Clark deliver on what was promised last week when Clark finally came clean and told Lois who and what he is. The episode opened with the conversation we've always wanted to hear: Lois asking him direct questions about stuff from previous episodes and Clark answering them honestly. (Honesty! From Smallville's Clark Kent!)

"The Phantom Zone?"
"Kryptonian."
"Doomsday?"
"Kryptonian."
"The space ship I found?"
"Kryptonian, but that wasn't mine, it's my cousin's."

The whole episode could have just been Lois being dazzled by Clark matter-of-factly explaining everything Super about him and it would have been vastly entertaining. The Village stuff was appropriately creepy, with the demented town minister, the ritual sacrifice to their Lord, the reveal that they've murdered 20 girls in 20 years because these backwards rubes don't understand it's Blue Kryptonite that they're really worshiping, and the burlap sack hoods reminiscent of Scarecrow in Batman Begins the villagers wear when they go lynchin' and girl-killin'.

Because their town of Meeker Springs received a Blue Kryptonite meteor shower 20 years ago, not only are none of the villagers ever sick or lacking for bountiful crops, but Clark is powerless in their presence. They hacked Clark's gut with scythe and buried him alive! Somehow, being buried alive actually re-powered Clark up (no explanation offered), and there was an awesome moment when he saved Lois from a molten Blue Kryptonite bath by shielding her with his body, roasting his back in the process. Then Lois threatens the terrified Villagers that Clark will Heat Vision and Super Breath them and busts out Jules Winnfield's Ezekiel 25:17 from Pulp Fiction: "And he will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger!"

Hell, that was more than enough in one episode to send us into next week happy, but Smallville wasn't done. Clark gives Lois his Kryptonian diary, promising no more secrets between them. The way Erica Durance plays Lois as so into Clark, she's practically like a Warner Bros. cartoon with her heart bursting out of her chest.

And finally, Lois and Clark get it on. In Superman II, we know they did it but we only saw them post-coital. Smallville isn't timid, oh no. Lois and Clark get it on. It's Super sexay.

Meanwhile, Lex Luthor is back! Michael Rosenbaum is still MIA, but Smallville managed the unlikely feat of successfully bringing Lex back into the fold even without Michael Rosenbaum. The young (about 12 years old) Alexander Luthor clone Tess is trying to raise is not only aging rapidly ("accelerated mitosis" has caused Alexander to age four years in two weeks) but is becoming more and more unstable. Alexander goes into demented fits, drawing Superman's "S" shield over and over. When Tess, who's trying admirably hard to be mother of the year, confronts him about it, Alexander locks her in his room and runs away... to the Kent Barn.

Then the bombshells really start dropping: Alexander has Lex's memories, describing conversations between Lex and Clark from the first two seasons in accurate detail. (I liked the contrast of Clark's honesty to Lois with Lex's memories of all the times Clark lied right to his face.) Then Alexander verbally takes Tess' apart, seeing right through all her deeply held motivations and hopes for redemption. That's because Alexander isn't just a clone - that really is Lex Luthor in that child's body. And he wants to be called "Lex."

When the specialist she hired to cure Lex's accelerated mitosis comes up with a serum that could become a cure, Tess decides she can't save Lex after all and throws it in the fireplace. Tess orders Lex locked up, knowing full well Lex will age and die from the disease in a few weeks! Meanwhile, Lex shaves his red locks down to a bald head. That was awesome stuff.

The kid they hired to play young Lex did an amazing job invoking Michael Rosenbaum's Lex and handling dialogue that would have been written for Rosenbaum to say as Lex. Rosenbaum has to be coming back to pay all of this off, even if it's all hush hush right now. This is too much of a promise of seeing the Lex Luthor we know and love not to make good on.

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